I would like to see Microsoft leverage Azure and Office 365 to create and deploy a kick-ass "full Office in the cloud" product. Imagine: For $100-$150 per year, a user could, through any browser, have access to all their files in SkyDrive and the complete Office suite through a connected Azure site.
There are two routes to take with regard to pricing and offerings; the first would take the form of a tiered-access system: "Basic" would include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. "Advanced" would add Outlook and Access. "Premium" would add Lync and Visio. Any other products could be added to "Advanced" or "Premium" accounts for a nominal fee. A second possible pricing methodology could be the "a-la-carte" approach where each user, upon account creation or activation, adds access to an individual productivity program for a nominal fee (ie., $10 for Word, $10 for Excel, $25 for Access). These fees, when summed, would create the annual account fee for the user. Mid-year cancellations and additions would be possible on a pro-rata basis.
This is an intellectual exercise, as I understand that this would seriously disrupt the traditional income streams for Microsoft. However, this approach would aggressively combat both the rise of Google Drive and the notion that Microsoft is too Windows-dependent. There are many businesses and individuals that use Office and do so productively. If Microsoft could give them the piece of mind that Office will be available to them regardless of platform or browser selection, it is possible that many more may stay. #microsoft #office365 #azure